Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am really tired of all of these veg-elitists.

I was reading a twitter post today, and it made me really sad. Someone was trying to eliminate eggs/dairy from his diet, while continuing to eat fish. Rather than being commended for making this switch, one that would undeniably change his health and the health of the planet for the better, he was chastized for trying to consider himself a vegetarian. That he would even think to associate himself with the term was so offensive that we had to post and make sure he knew it. Really, guys?

I get it that veganism and vegetarianism are a commitment to do everything in our power to reduce the suffering of animals and the planet. And yes, many people lack the information they need to make the same choices we do. But why do we choose to alienate those people who share our views, all be them less commited than we? Are these really the pepole we should be spending our time attacking? Shouldn't we be spending our time more productively, attacking the system that has created such cruelty?

Since I began this journey, I have communicated with many compassionate, understanding vegans who accept that everyone adjusts to this choice differently. Unfortunately, for every one of them I find, I find several more who are only interested in demonstrating how much more commited they are than everyone else. And I know from personal experience, that's not the way to "convert" people.

I believe everyone who is willing to sacrifice to make a difference should be commended, and I wish more people could see the good that can do.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I am a comfort-food-eater.

I have found my new replacement for the blue box! I love this Leahey gardens mac and cheese. It came highly recommended to me, from I made it with soymilk and it was so creamy and yummy! Not only that, it's really low-cal, and goes perfect with some nice veggies and tofu. Here are some pics:

So good! I haven't had a chance to try the Amy's frozen mac and cheese (my grocery store doesn't stock it) but I'm looking forward to trying it soon. I've heard good things from lots of people.

Any veganized comfort foods you love?


Thursday, April 8, 2010

I am (sometimes) a lazy vegan.

Some days I come home from work, and the last thing I want to do is think about what kind of healthy vegan meal to cook. Those are the times I love Trader Joe's. Granted, my closest TJ's is 100 miles away, so when I go, I always bring a cooler and stock up on some frozen essentials. One of my faves is their Vegetable Gyoza:

They're super easy for my lazy days (I just stuck them in the microwave, and voila!) and really, really yummy. They're also pretty healthy, so they are a guilt-free fallback plan. And don't they look appetizing?

Anyone else have some favorite frozen vegan fallbacks? Any recommendations so I can stock up next grocery run?


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I am a part of a community.

So this whole internet veganism thing started as a test, both to see if I could do it, and if I could find people who could help support me. Turns out, I have been pleasantly surprised.

I thought that this transition would be extremely difficult, but having the support and expertise of the online community, through blogs, twitter, forums, etc. has really shown me that not all vegans are the die-hards I anticipated. They're all people who, while they make choices that are still, in many ways, unconventional, they have struggled in their relationships just as I have. And most of them are reasonable people like me.

I want to change the world, but I don't want to scare away the people that I love. I want to be open-minded, and the best way to do that is to keep doing what I have been doing. I am still on the learning path, and I hardly have this whole vegan-thing figured out. What I do know is that without such a supportive vegan community, I would have given up out of fear and loneliness. Thank you, everyone who has supported me thus far. Without your advice, I would have quit striving long ago.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am a meat-eater lover.

That's right. I'm living a complicated balance between my desire to change the cruel and unfair system, and the desire to maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. And it's really hard; I feel like I am being ripped in two different directions. I haven't told my boyfriend about my veg-to-vegan transition, (though I think all the veggie burgers I keep eating are really starting to freak him out...), and I don't know the best way to approach telling him without hurting him. I don't want to intimidate him, and I don't want any other element of our relationship to change.

Most vegans I've talked to said they couldn't be with someone whose views were so drastically different from theirs. And I suppose I could understand that viewpoint, too, but it's not one I am likely to adopt myself. There are tons of things my family, my friends, and my boyfriend and I have different opinions on. I still love them, and I understand that the circumstances they have experienced in their lives have given them a different relationship with food than I have.

I never claimed to be a vegan activist. In fact, that's always been the thing I set out most to avoid. I saw vegans as judgemental, and I felt without a wholehearted commitment to the activist stance, my veganism was in vain. That's why it took me so long to make the switch. But after talking to many of you, through many different media, I have found that there is a large range of vegan acceptance. I saw that many of you struggled like me. And maybe that's different for many, or all of you vegans who see the importance of surrounding yourself with people who share your values, and that's great. You are certainly lucky to have found supportive people like that in your lives.

I value my boyfriend too much to reduce him to enemy. And the other aspects of our relationship outweigh my feelings about his meat-eating. I have to appreciate that while we don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, he has always accepted my right to my way of life. I hope that this begs no exception.

I have found that if you understand people the way you want to be understood, you can be rewarded with their understanding. I am not looking to alienate anyone becuase of my beliefs, and I absolutely appreciate that there are principled vegans out there who are changing the world. I support and admire them wholeheartedly. They have undoubtedly made more sacrifices than I can imagine to do so.

What has been your biggest struggle in going vegan? What helped you to overcome it or to see it differently?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I am an e-vegan.

Living in smalltown Michigan (100+ miles to the nearest Trader Joes or Whole Foods, Yikes!), I have to rely on the internet for many of my vegan needs. Some of my favorites:


Vegan Essentials stocks great pantry items:

Veggie Brothers is the BEST for mock meats:

Gobble Green is pricy, but a la carte options offer a great selection of microwavable meals:

Shoes and Bags

Susan Nichole has really luxe cruelty-free handbags that are grown-up enough to take to work:

Pansy Maiden has cute eco weekend options:

Alternative Outfitters offers great shoes and bags at inexpensive prices:

MooShoes has several stylish shoe and handbag options:

Any personal favorite sites for vegan shopping online?


I am an undercover tree hugger.

I have never been one to tell people how to think or how to feel. I think this is mostly because I hate it when people tell me how I should think or how I should feel. There is a reason I am seeking support for my decisions online... I haven't found the words to ask for it in person yet. I am struggling with how to navigate the negative perceptions of people who make the conscious decision to go against the social grain, regardless of their validity in that position. I don't know how to be different, and my family and friends don't seem to understand where I am coming from. And this is before I have told them about my attempt at becoming vegan.

I don't want to hurt animals, or the environment, but I don't want to hurt the feelings of the people I care for, either. I am terrified to be the change I want to see in the world for fear of becoming the change I don't want to be in myself.

Can I be vegan without being an activist? Or am I simply picking and choosing which battles to fight, and only chosing the ones that come easiest?

Did any of you feel similar struggles as beginning vegans? I'd love to hear how you overcame them.